"The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus." 1 Timothy 1:14 (NIV)
I guess the title of this post is a result of the inundation of the reminiscences of the hits of Michael Jackson over the last couple of weeks. Although, if my memory serves me correctly, in the song "BAD", I think that bad was supposed to be good. (And I apologize if now that song is clunking around in your brain...especially when my point is spiritual, and about bad that is really bad...not good.)
Twice in the last week, I've seen Melea head to the disposal and toss something in while she was eating her Froot Loop breakfast. I had to ask, "What are you throwing in there?" She said, "There was a bad Froot Loop." Hmmmm. I wonder just what constitutes a bad Froot Loop. (Well, in my opinion, they smell and taste like Lemon Pledge to me...but that's not the point.)
The Froot Loop incident took me back to our beach trip a few weeks ago. We were having some amazing fortune in finding great shells. (Wow! What a testimony to the intricacies of God's creation! I still am awed just thinking about it!) We would find the most minute conch shells...so very tiny, yet the patterns and swirls so finely detailed...fashioned by His hands. As we searched
through the mixture of shells and shell pieces washed up on the shore, I would often pick up a shell and give it to Melea. If it had the slightest flaw, she would disregard it and throw it back into the debris. It struck me as a little sad...something of great beauty, yet bearing a sign of imperfection...just tossed away.
I couldn't help but turn those thoughts inward...and look at myself...with all my flaws...with all my sin...and just be brought to tears at the reality of God's amazing grace. I'm so thankful that He has never turned His back on me...given up on me...or tossed me away because of my imperfections...my failures...my sin. I'm amazed at the height and depth of His unconditional, unending, unfailing love and the price He paid for me.
I've been listening to the CD "It Must Be Grace" and the first verse and chorus of the title track (written by Brian White, Chris Eaton and Don Poythress) feel as they could be my own words.
How could one, one such as You, be longing for me?
What would I have to give that you'd ever need?
Why? No matter how far I've run, do You pursue me?
Why? When I fall time after time, do You still love me?
What could make You love me?
I don't understand. What is it You see in the heart of someone like me?
When I let You down, but You still believe...
and prove Your love time and again...and again.
All I can say is it must be grace.
Oh, how He loves me. Oh, how He loves you. What a wonder...a gift...a privilege that "by the power of God, who has saved us and called us to a holy life-not because of anything we have done but because of His own purpose and grace!" (2 Timothy 1:9) Oh...He is Good!
Thank you, Father, for Your grace...for Your willingness to die and suffer in my place. Thank you that You hold the future in Your hands. Thank You for the plan that You have...even for me. Thank You for the grace that You "lavished on us", for the "hope in Christ," and that we "might be [used] for the praise of [Your] glory"! Enlighten the eyes of our hearts that we may know the hope to which You have called us, the glorious inheritance, and the "incomparably great power for us who believe!" (Ephesians 1)